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It’s been eight months since the last time I thought about getting a new phone, and I have not grown any more fond of my existing phone in the interim. The reason why I haven’t bought a new one is that when I last looked, exactly no phone at all met my criteria.

  • Must handle generic IMAP and handle it well
  • Must have a GPS (because Google Maps + GPS is too good a combination to forego)
  • Must be able to intelligently access my Google calendar

Some very major nice-to-haves:

  • Able to update/synchronise my Google calendar
  • Able to utilise an LDAP address book for emailing; ideally: Synchronise contacts
  • Able to synchronise contact info with a Linux computer (not so important if there’s a good LDAP solution)

The reason why I ended up not buying a new phone was that none of them really met my criteria. In particular, the phones available at the time (the iPhone version whatever, and the Android G1) both had a reputation for poor IMAP support, and there was official support for LDAP on exactly no devices. Now it seems that the more recent iterations of the iPhone OS do come with LDAP support. The notion of being able to maintain a single phone-and-address book (which I can, in addition, easily back up: in fact, I do so regularly with a cron job) is appealing. The notion of using a single Google calendar instead of separate calendars on my phone and my computer (which leads me to check both less frequently since neither is all that helpful) is equally so.

I’d rather go with an Android device since I prefer the openness and I hate to be associated with Apple fanboys even by coincidence, but it does seem like the iPhone does more to meet my requirements right now than does any Android platform on the market.

I guess all it comes down to at this point is, one: How good is that LDAP support? —and two: How nicely does the iPhone interact with vanilla IMAP accounts?

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Petter Häggholm

April 2016

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